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To: The Vet who wrote (26213)5/5/2011 10:01:57 AM
From: teevee
   of 59555
 
Energy is money; printed pictures of dead presidents on paper or bits created and stored in a computer memory, is not.

Not quite true as the US dollar is THE international settlement currency. Over and above the need for domestic QE, the US must print money like mad to accommodate economic expansion around the world.

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From: Eric5/5/2011 10:26:43 AM
   of 59555
 
Climate scientists told to 'stop speaking in code'

Scientists at a major conference on Arctic warming were told Wednesday to use plain language to explain the dramatic melt in the region to a world reluctant to take action against climate change.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark —
Scientists at a major conference on Arctic warming were told Wednesday to use plain language to explain the dramatic melt in the region to a world reluctant to take action against climate change.

An authoritative report released at the meeting of nearly 400 scientists in Copenhagen showed melting ice in the Arctic could help raise global sea levels by as much as 5 feet this century, much higher than earlier projections.

James White, of the University of Colorado at Boulder, told fellow researchers to use simple words and focus on the big picture when describing their research to a wider audience. Focusing too much on details could blur the basic science, he said: "If you put more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, it will get warmer."

Prominent U.S. climate scientist Robert Corell said researchers must try to reach out to all parts of society to spread awareness of the global implications of the Arctic melt.

"Stop speaking in code. Rather than 'anthropogenic,' you could say 'human caused,'" Corell said.

The Arctic has been warming twice as fast as the global average in recent decades, and the latest five-year period is the warmest since measurements began in the 19th century, according to the report by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program - a scientific body set up by the eight Arctic rim countries.

The report emphasized "the need for greater urgency" in combating global warming. But nations remain bogged down in their two-decade-long talks on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

The World Bank's special envoy for climate change, Andrew Steer, said the new findings "are a cause for great concern." The sea rise will affect millions in both rich and poor countries, but would particularly affect the poor, he said, because "they tend to live in the lowest lying land and have the fewest resources to adapt."

Steer said bank studies showed the costs of major flooding events on infrastructure and the economy could run into billions of dollars.

"It is clear that we are not on track in the battle against climate change," he said.

Bogi Hansen, an expert on ocean currents from the Faeroe Islands, said one problem is that scientists can come off as unsure about conclusions because they are reluctant to talk about anything with 100 percent certainty.

White, the Colorado scientist, agreed. At a news conference later Wednesday, he said those opposed to reining in fossil fuels "sow the seeds of doubt that give the people the impression that ... unless every single one of us lines up behind an idea, that decisions can't be taken."

The AMAP report will be delivered to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the foreign ministers of Canada, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia, at an Arctic Council meeting in Greenland next week.

seattletimes.nwsource.com

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From: Eric5/5/2011 10:27:49 AM
   of 59555
 
New report confirms Arctic melt accelerating
By KARL RITTER, Associated Press

STOCKHOLM – Arctic ice is melting faster than expected and could raise the average global sea level by as much as five feet this century, an authoritative new report suggests.

The study by the international Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, or AMAP, is one of the most comprehensive updates on climate change in the Arctic, and builds on a similar assessment in 2005.

The full report will be delivered to foreign ministers of the eight Arctic nations next week, but an executive summary including the key findings was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

It says that Arctic temperatures in the past six years were the highest since measurements began in 1880, and that feedback mechanisms believed to accelerate warming in the climate system have now started kicking in.

One mechanism involves the ocean absorbing more heat when it's not covered by ice, which reflects the sun's energy. That effect has been anticipated by scientists "but clear evidence for it has only been observed in the Arctic in the past five years," AMAP said.

The report also shatters some of the forecasts made in 2007 by the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change.

The cover of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean, for example, is shrinking faster than projected by the U.N. panel. The level of summer ice coverage has been at or near record lows every year since 2001, AMAP said, predicting that the Arctic Ocean will be nearly ice free in summer within 30-40 years.

Its assessment also said the U.N. panel was too conservative in estimating how much sea levels will rise — one of the most closely watched aspects of global warming because of the potentially catastrophic impact on coastal cities and island nations.

The melting of Arctic glaciers and ice caps, including Greenland's massive ice sheet, are projected to help raise global sea levels by 35 to 63 inches (90-160 centimeters) by 2100, AMAP said, though it noted that the estimate was highly uncertain.

That's up from a 2007 projection of 7 to 23 inches (19-59 centimeters) by the U.N. panel, which didn't consider the dynamics of ice caps in the Arctic and Antarctica.

"The observed changes in sea ice on the Arctic Ocean, in the mass of the Greenland ice sheet and Arctic ice caps and glaciers over the past 10 years are dramatic and represent an obvious departure from the long-term patterns," AMAP said in the executive summary.

The organization's main function is to advise the nations surrounding the Arctic — the U.S., Canada, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland — on threats to the Arctic environment.

The findings of its report — Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic — will be discussed by some of the scientists who helped compile it at a conference starting Wednesday in the Danish capital, Copenhagen.

In the past few years, scientists have steadily improved ways of measuring the loss of ice into the oceans.

In research reported in March in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, U.S. and European scientists used two independent methods to corroborate their findings: the on-the-ground measurement of ice thickness and movements using GPS stations and other tools, and the measurement of ice mass through gravity readings from satellites.

That team, led by Eric Rignot of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, projected that the accelerating melt of the vast Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets would itself raise sea levels by about 6 inches (15 centimeters) by 2050. Adding in other factors — expansion of the oceans from warming and runoff from other glaciers worldwide — would raise sea levels a total of some 13 inches (32 centimeters) by 2050, they said.

They did not project sea levels to 2100 because of long-range uncertainties.

Currents, winds and other forces would make sea-level rise vary globally, but Bangladesh, Florida and other such low-lying areas and coastal cities worldwide would be hard hit.

The AMAP report said melting glaciers and ice sheets worldwide have become the biggest contributor to sea level rise. Greenland's ice sheet alone accounted for more than 40 percent of the 0.12 inches (3.1 millimeters) of sea-level rise observed annually between 2003 and 2008, AMAP said.

It said the yearly mass loss from Greenland's ice sheet, which covers an area the size of Mexico, increased from 50 gigatons in 1995-2000 to more than 200 gigatons in 2004-2008.

Scientists are still debating how much of the changes observed in the Arctic are due to natural variances and how much to warming caused by the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. AMAP projected that average fall and winter temperatures in the Arctic will climb by 5.4-10.8 F (3-6 C) by 2080, even if greenhouse gas emissions are lower than in the past decade.

____

AP Special Correspondent Charles J. Hanley in New York contributed to this report.

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To: Brumar89 who wrote (26215)5/5/2011 10:33:19 AM
From: FUBHO
   of 59555
 
Obama floats plan to tax cars by the mile

By Pete Kasperowicz - 05/05/11 07:45 AM ET

thehill.com

The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.

The plan is a part of the administration's "Transportation Opportunities Act," an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly.


The White House, however, said the bill is only an early draft that was not formally circulated within the administration.

“This is not an Administration proposal," White House spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki said. "This is not a bill supported by the Administration. This was an early working draft proposal that was never formally circulated within the Administration, does not taken into account the advice of the President’s senior advisors, economic team or Cabinet officials, and does not represent the views of the President.”


News of the draft follows a March Congressional Budget Office report that supported the idea of taxing drivers based on miles driven.

Among other things, CBO suggested that a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven; payment could take place electronically at filling stations.


The CBO report was requested by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), who has proposed taxing cars by the mile as a way to increase federal highway revenues.

Obama's proposal seems to follow up on that idea in section 2218 of the draft bill. That section would create, within the Federal Highway Administration, a Surface Transportation Revenue Alternatives Office. It would be tasked with creating a "study framework that defines the functionality of a mileage-based user fee system and other systems."

The administration seems to be aware of the need to prepare the public for what would likely be a controversial change to the way highway funds are collected. For example, the office is called on to serve a public relations function, as the draft says it should "increase public awareness regarding the need for an alternative funding source for surface transportation programs and provide information on possible approaches."

The draft bill says the "study framework" for the project and a public awareness communications plan should be established within two years of creating the office, and that field tests should begin within four years.

The office would be required to consider four factors in field trials: the capability of states to enforce payment, the reliability of technology, administrative costs, and "user acceptance." The draft does not specify where field trials should begin.

The new office would be funded a total of $200 million through FY 2017 for the project.

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To: TimF who wrote (26208)5/5/2011 11:09:10 AM
From: Alastair McIntosh
1 Recommendation   of 59555
 
4x the efficiency?

No need for all of the speculation. You could just read the post to which you are replying.

Currently, 15% of automobile fuel is used for propulsion; the other 85% is wasted. A Wave Disk Generator hybrid uses 60% of fuel for vehicle propulsion.

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To: Alastair McIntosh who wrote (26221)5/5/2011 11:31:48 AM
From: Eric
   of 59555
 
The big advantage of this device is that it will drive an alternator directly for electric generation. Thus driving electric motor (s) very efficiently.

No mechanical drive train as in ordinary ICE's.

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From: Eric5/5/2011 11:32:31 AM
   of 59555
 
Let the Electric Vehicle Bragging Begin

Chevy says its Volt users are getting 1,000 miles between fill-ups. Bring on the boasting: it's good for the environment.

It's been several months since the launch of the Chevrolet Volt, and so you know what that means: it's time for bragging. Chevy has rounded up statistics of pleased Volt drivers who want us all to know how their electric car is performing. To be honest, though, the numbers are worth boasting over. In March, Volt owners got 1,000 miles between fill-ups, says Chevy. They only made one trip to the gas station all month long.

In the months prior, Volt drivers were reporting something on the order of 800 miles between fill-ups. It seems, now, that many users are challenging themselves to go as far as possible without having to make that trip to the gas station. "It's become a game to achieve as many miles as I can in EV mode," said a Volt owner in Boca Raton, Florida, named Steve Wojtanek. He reported 3,417 miles on the vehicle so far, of which 2,225 were done in EV mode. He's getting something on the order of 122 miles per gallon. (OK, Steve, we get it!)

He wasn't the only happy customer. Volt owner Gary David of Greenville, South Carolina, boasted about not having to visit the pump at all between January 9 and April 11. He's getting 547 miles per gallon.

If the Chevy Volt is an EV, you might wonder, why does gas enter into the equation at all? Getting sufficient range has long been a barrier for the EV industry. Chevy got around this with the Volt, which it calls "an electric vehicle with extended range capability." When the Volt's battery is low, it can tap the gas tank to generate new electricity--for those days when drivers have to go on an extended trip. On a full battery and a tank of gas, though, the Volt gets decent range--379 miles before sputtering to a stop. Since most U.S. drivers only commute 40 or fewer miles, total, per day, it's quite possible to use the Volt and almost never have to refuel.

Whether there's an element of gloating or not here, it's heartening to see EVs make good on their promises and for users to be enthusiastic about them. A spirit of competition may be exactly what's needed to make electric cars go mainstream.

In that respect, the real face-off may not be between Gary David and Steve Wojtanek, say, but between Volt drivers and drivers of strict EVs like the Nissan Leaf, which don't use gas at all. When the denominator becomes zero in the miles-per-gallon ratio, the equations look pretty different: the MPG on the Leaf, you might say, is infinity.

technologyreview.com

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To: Alastair McIntosh who wrote (26221)5/5/2011 12:00:17 PM
From: TimF
   of 59555
 

15% is not the peak for current mass deployed gasoline piston engine technology, and its even further for diesel engines. Even a typical modern engine does better than 15% more like 20 percent, and the best can reach 30. So its more like 2 or 3 times as efficient (assuming their efficiency claims for their own engine is accurate which is a big assumption). And that's for gasoline engines. Diesels can get 45% perhaps more.

And if is moving from say 20, 30, or 45 percent to 60 percent efficiency, or even 15 percent to 60 percent, its unlikely to reduce CO2 emission by 95%. CO2 isn't some minor byproduct of the combustion of gasoline resulting from incomplete combustion, or impurities in the mix, its one of the main direct results of even the most perfect combustion of gasoline. To reduce CO2 by 95% you would pretty much have to decrease gasoline use by 95%, or at least close to it. Even taking their low efficiency figure for current piston engines would not get you a 95% reduction. If you use one fourth the gasoline, you get a CO2 reduction more like 75% not 95%. Comparing to efficient diesels the CO2 reduction would be more like 25%.

Still if they can pull off what they say they can (a big if), and can do so with reliability and cost-effectiveness, it could be a bit deal, just not as big of deal as they are promoting it as being.

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To: Eric who wrote (26218)5/5/2011 12:17:32 PM
From: Brumar89
1 Recommendation   of 59555
 
Rather than 'anthropogenic,' you could say 'human caused,'"

Yeah, that's why people are rejecting the con. They're just too dumb to understand what you're saying.

Here's what they should say:

'Energy bad, make tornado. Blow house away.'

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From: Eric5/5/2011 12:20:10 PM
   of 59555
 
Just How Green Is Natural Gas?

Not green at all, reports a study suggesting that the methane released by fracking and drilling makes it worse than coal.

Researchers at Cornell University are raising alarms over the expected increase in use of natural gas from shale deposits. They argue that replacing coal and gasoline with natural-gas alternatives could worsen, rather than improve, the impact of greenhouse gases. The greenhouse-gas footprint of shale gas over a 20-year period is at least 20 percent higher than that of coal and "perhaps more than twice as great," they say in a study published online in the journal Climatic Change. The culprit is the leakage of methane, the main component of natural gas.

To extract natural gas from shale, drillers hydraulically fracture the rock by injecting a cocktail of water and chemicals into a horizontally drilled well at high pressures. Robert Howarth, a biogeochemist and professor of earth sciences at Cornell, argues that a significant amount of gas also mixes with the water-chemical mix and escapes into the atmosphere when the fluid returns to the surface. The drilling out of well plugs that separate fracking stages also results in temporary emission releases, giving shale gas a "significantly larger" greenhouse-gas footprint than conventional natural gas.

The finding is a blow to environmentalists, many of whom have viewed natural gas as a "bridge fuel" on the way to cleaner energy sources. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that total U.S. natural-gas production will increase by 20 percent over the next 25 years and that shale gas will account for nearly half of the total, up from 23 percent in 2010. Major U.S. shale deposits include the Marcellus shale formations in the Northeast and the Barnett formations in Texas. China, France, Poland, Chile, and more than a dozen other countries also have significant recoverable shale gas resources, according to a recent Energy Information Administration study.

When burned to generate electricity, natural gas emits roughly half as much carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour as coal. But over its life cycle, natural gas could result in far more greenhouse-gas emissions, whether through intentional venting, equipment leaks, or fracking. And the leaks would consist of methane, which is a much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conceded in a December report that it had "significantly underestimated" the methane emissions that result from development of unconventional natural-gas resources, primarily shale gas. In some instances, methane emissions were nearly 9,000 times higher than previously thought.

The Cornell researchers acknowledge that the available data is incomplete, and industry groups were quick to counter their conclusions. Energy in Depth, a group representing independent U.S. petroleum producers, accused Howarth of using low-quality data to "jack up" the global-warming potential of methane. It also took issue with his decision to focus on the impacts over 20 years. Howarth, however, says that critical events in climate change are likely to happen in the next two decades, meaning that the short-term impact of methane is an important factor in measuring long-term climate consequences.

On the issue of data quality, Howarth concedes that he didn't have the best information to work with. "The reason is that all of the data come from industry sources ... and industry has not been very forthcoming," he says, adding that the EPA has proposed regulations that require better reporting on methane leakage. "Were the industry to comply, then more and better documented data could become available, and one could improve on our study."

Mark Jaccard, a professor of energy and materials research at Simon Fraser University, says he's not surprised by the findings of the Cornell study. But he suggests that the results are not an argument against shale gas. Instead, the study should be a timely call for stricter regulations. "Shale gas could be produced in a way that had very little emissions," he says.

Indeed, the Cornell study points to various ways that drillers and pipeline operations could reduce methane emissions by up to 90 percent. But, the study adds, "these technologies are currently not in wide use."

technologyreview.com

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